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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Solarize Your Mulch for Your Tomato Barrier

I forgot to mention that hardwood mulch can come from anywhere there is hardwood. That means it could just could carry something that what be bad for the garden. The mulch from Home Depot is in a mostly clear bag. Look for mulch that is in at least a bag with 50% clear plastic. Set it in the full sun for a full 24 hour period. It must be 100% full sun in a southern location. If you have partly shady days that won't work. You have to wait for full sun. Timing is everything. This means it sits a full day in the sun and you use it the next day.

I don't have the technical numbers but the mulch must get to nearly 200 degrees. When I put my hand in at 6 pm today it was very hot and it actually steamed when I took it out of the bag. The mulch sat all day Monday and Tuesday in the full sun. If you want to be safe go for 2 days. Not much will survive the heat in the bag. That includes insects and eggs. At least those things that could harm the garden. If anyone has some scientific data please add it.

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